Medical devices are used by doctors and surgeons for many things that help patients stay healthy or get back on track. This may include biomedical implants such as artificial joints and pacemakers.
It can also include diagnostic equipment such as MRI machines and ultrasonic mobile stations. While most companies use ‘medical device’ to refer to these large, expensive items, cheaper items also apply.
Things like disposables such as gloves, needles, or bandages are also considered medical devices. If you are looking for a lucrative sales career, selling medical devices is where it’s at. We tell you more next.
Overview of Job
Sales representatives of medical devices are responsible for selling medical devices to both companies and clinics in private practice.
The representative is tasked with locating potential customers and showing interest in a persuasive demonstration of the devices.
As with other sales jobs, an effective sales representative for medical devices possesses strong communication skills and a friendly personality to effectively address potential customers’ questions and concerns.
Medical Device Sales Representative: What’s Their Background?
Sales representatives of medical devices often have a background in the healthcare industry, and a background in sales is desirable too.
Successful applicants undergo extensive training; this training usually starts with an experienced sales representative offering mentoring.
That mentoring can include learning successful sales techniques, the function and operation of the selling medical equipment, and knowledge of medical insurance practices.
It is generally desired by previous experience that the applicant already possesses a developed set of sales skills. A sales representative for medical devices must maintain an up-to-date knowledge of medical technology.
Most reps on medical sales have at least one bachelor’s degree. While not a requirement, many employers find that degrees in technical fields such as engineering or biology can help reps understand their product’s practical applications.
Whether or not candidates have this type of technical education is incredibly valuable, having direct sales training-especially if that experience is in the medical industry.
Reps can, for example, get certified by the National Association of Medical Sales Representatives, or find other field sales certifications that they can use to demonstrate their abilities.
How Much Do They Earn?
The 2016 Medical Sales Salary Report surveyed 4,000 medical sales professionals who earned an average annual salary of $145,147, with a mean base of $88,038.
Medical sales representatives working in pharmaceuticals earned $122,107, but those selling surgical equipment bring home significantly more at $163,654 per year. On average, the highest paid reps are employed for $165,028 in biotechnology.
Representatives of medical device sales with less than two years of experience get an average annual base wage of $66,516 with $33,394 in bonuses or commission.
Salaries for medical sales grow exponentially with experience. Late-career sales reps report an average annual total compensation of $165,735, with 20 + years of experience.
Those who advance to the sales director or vice president of medical devices can make more than $209,082 annually.
Importance of the Sales Background
As with all sales representative jobs, selling medical devices involves significant interaction with potential and current clients on their timetables, meaning that working hours are highly variable.
In most cases, the representative has designated territory, and it is the representative’s responsibility to attend as many meetings and presentations as possible in the assigned area. As such, the position involves significant amounts of travel.
Perhaps the single most important part of a medical device sales resume has a strong sales background.
Manufacturers will not expect reps to come in knowing a great deal about their products but will provide practical training to familiarize the sales team with their products.
On the other hand, having gritty sales chops is a non-negotiable employer will certainly look for at the start.
While there are many types of jobs in the healthcare industry, medical device sales representatives are at the top of the salary spectrum.
Medical device companies may look with recruiters to fill more senior positions, but they often post other openings on online job boards on their sales team. You can check out Glassdoor, Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn.